Institute of Regional and International Studies

The Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS) is a center for policy research and training based in Iraq at American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS). The Institute’s researchers focus on the most complex challenges facing Iraq and the Middle East, including climate change and environmental degradation, displacement, public health, economic development, reconstruction, and governance.

IRIS convenes events throughout the year such as workshops, webinars, roundtables, and trainings. The Sulaimani Forum is the Institute’s signature annual event, designed to promote dialogue among senior government officials, international diplomats, scholars, and journalists on the most pressing issues facing Iraq and the region.

Importantly, IRIS believes that the best research must always go hand in hand with advocacy and action. To that end, the Institute uses its research insights to build more effective political and civil society organizations. On an annual basis, IRIS recruits, trains and equips young leaders from across the country through programs such as the Iraq Leadership Fellowship (ILF).

IRIS partners with donor agencies, universities and foundations across the world who share the Institute’s belief that policymaking should be grounded in rigorous research and local expertise.

International research partners include Chatham House, the Global Public Policy Institute, the Clingendael Institute, and the London School of Economics Middle East Centre. Partners in the aid and humanitarian sector have included the European Union Delegation in Iraq, the International Organization for Migration, and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq.